The Football Association is investigating a complaint that Jose Mourinho used abusive, sexist language towards former team doctor Eva Carneiro during Chelsea's Premier League game against Swansea City.
The Chelsea manager could face a five-match touchline ban if found guilty of improper conduct.
The governing body’s compliance department are studying video evidence that Mourinho abused Carneiro either from the touchline or as she came back down to the bench at Stamford Bridge during the game against Swansea on 8 August.
Carneiro had gone on to the pitch at referee Michael Oliver’s request to treat Eden Hazard during the final stages of the game.
Under the FA rule E3, players and coaches can be penalised for using “offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures”. With an aggravated breach, in this case potentially with reference to gender, a five-match ban is the minimum punishment.
The FA was responding to a complaint made to them by a member of the public in the last few days, as it is duty-bound to do. Carneiro was dramatically demoted by Chelsea after the game.
In footage of the incident subsequently broadcast by Sky Sports, Mourinho could be seen shouting angrily while he was observing Carneiro and head physiotherapist Jon Fearn from the touchline. Mourinho then had a subsequent exchange with Carneiro, a native Spanish speaking, Gibraltar-born medic, as she came down the touchline to return to her seat.
In a statement the FA said: “The FA has received an enquiry relating to an alleged incident during the Premier League fixture between Swansea v Chelsea on 8 August, and will make no further comment at this time.”
Carneiro has not returned to Cobham, the Chelsea training ground, since she and Fearn were taken off frontline duties by Mourinho following the game in question. For the first Champions League game of the season against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, Mourinho continued with the new partnership of doctor Chris Hughes and physiotherapist Steven Hughes.
Last season, Mourinho was charged with improper conduct by the FA under Rule E3 for his allegations in December that there was a “campaign” against his team when Cesc Fabregas was denied a penalty by referee Anthony Taylor against Southampton. He was later fined £25,000 and warned as to his future conduct.
Earlier this month the FA chief executive Martin Glenn appeared to give his support to Carneiro when he said that the medical staff’s priority was “to the players, not the manager”.
Arteta tells Arsenal to bounce back against Chelsea
Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal captain, has challenged his team-mates to “react quickly” as they prepare for Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal lost 2-1 at Dynamo Zagreb on Wednesday and did not return to London until early yesterday morning. Friday is their one day of training and preparation before they return to Chelsea, where they lost 2-0 last year and 6-0 the season before.
“It doesn’t help, before a big game,” Arteta admitted, after his first start for 10 months. “We have not managed to win three games in a row, which is very important. We have to react quickly. We’re quite good at that. We’ve done it in the past. Saturday will be a very different game.
“We’re upset and we have to react,” Arteta added. “Sometimes when you have disappointment in the body it’s good because you find a good reaction. Tomorrow is a new day, a time to be positive and take good things into the next game because we can beat Chelsea.”